The end of days. The messianic era. There is a degree of excitement, or urgency of the uplifting nature that revelation provides regarding the repairing of the world, its redemption and the long promised golden road of devotion and freedom. Problem is, when you look around, it seems hard to believe; there would have to be such a tremendous jolt, a ten on the Richter scale shaking and elevation of collective individual consciousness to arrive at what would seem merely palatable that the pessimists presently enjoy undue credibility. Yet the view persists that we are living in this age, spawning the full range of the devout, pious, god loving to the fear mongering apocalypse fan club supporters and all manner of demagogues and saints in between. At least life is not dull.
Maimonides or Rambam as he was known, the great medieval jewish sage, – although UNESCO has Islamized him into Mohammedan sainthood- believed that all individuals were created in god’s image and this godliness based on reason, could not conceive of a messianic era in which jews and non-jews remains distinct. There would be no “goyim” or no “other” to speak of. A unity in which Maimonides posited the idea that ethnicity, jewish ethnicity was a form of accident, but not essential to judaism; the question was always whether what happens when said Messiah arrives. For Christians would we all believe in Christ, or in a Jewish context would alladhere to the torah of moses or would there be a split with the torah of moses and the rest respecting the Noahide laws which would not preclude atheism or an obligation or duty to worship god.
(see link at end)…Jesse Bering: At a press event two weeks ago, CNN’s Wolf Blitzer asked Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad to elaborate on his notorious assertion from 2007 that there were no homosexuals in Iran. “My position hasn’t changed,” replied the defiant Ahmadinejad. He then acknowledged to Blitzer, begrudgingly, the tiny sliver of a possibility that there could be such monsters living amongst even the Sharia-centric Iranians. “Perhaps there are those who engage in [homosexual] activities … but these are not known elements within Iranian society. Rest assured, this is one of the ugliest behaviors in our society … but as the government, I cannot go out in the street and ask [my people] about their specific orientation.”…
There is always the famous verse in Isaiah, about the wolf shall dwell with the lamb, the leopard lie down with the kid seen as a metaphoric vision of such a utopia. A allegoriacal state of bliss where Israel will have security from the wicked nations that vow its destruction. Certainly hard to see these jackals and other scavenging creatures adopting a “true religion” ; to “eat permitted foods in peace and quiet as Israelites,” the lion like the ox eating straw and chomping on oats. But Maimonides did say in the days of a Messianic King all will be understood and the meaning hinted by such allegories would be fully revealed. Otherwise money refunded.
What could Maimonides have possibly meant in all his nuances and ambiguities; certainly no admirer of star worshipers, idolators, astrologers, charlatan clairvoyants et al. he likely meant that by the time the Messianic is fully flowered, the process completed, that all individuals would worship god from a basis of spiritual equality without distinction between peoples, nationalities and whatever else we can throw up to maintain the structure of invidious comparison. The other view is that things will remain as they are now, just far tamer and more manageable than contemporary events would imply, suggesting that distinctions of chosen-ness would remain unresolved but annoying people to the extent of genocide. Maybe its up to us to decide, as an exercise of free will…
(see link at end)…President Ahmadinejad was greeted with laughter and cries of disbelief when he told students and staff at Columbia University: “In Iran, we don’t have homosexuals. In Iran we don’t have this phenomenon. I don’t know who has told you we have it.”…
…The scorn heaped on Ahmadinejad at Columbia is somewhat ironic, however, considering that one of the university’s own professors, Joseph Massad, has been peddling a similar line for years. His latest book, Desiring Arabs (which I reviewed here), was published by the normally-sensible Chicago University Press.
According to Massad, pressure for gay rights in the Middle East is the result of a “missionary” campaign orchestrated by what he calls the “Gay International”.
“It is the very discourse of the Gay International which produces homosexuals, as well as gays and lesbians, where they do not exist,” he writes (pp 162-3)….
Such claims are difficult to sustain, faced with a centuries-old tradition of homoerotic themes in Persian and Arabic literature and jokes in popular culture.
Almost every country in the Middle East has at least one town – Idlib in Syria, for example – which has become the subject of jokes about its supposedly homosexual inhabitants. In Iran, it’s Qazvin – a town whose reputation dates back more than 600 years to the time when Obeid e Zakani, a bawdy poet and satirist, lived there….
…Since the Islamic revolution in Iran, there have been strenuous but not always successful efforts to bury this past. Of all the Muslim countries, Iran at the moment is probably the most active in persecuting gay people. This probably has less to do with religion than local political and cultural factors.
Janet Afary and Kevin Anderson, authors of Foucault and the Iranian Revolution, argue that this was a reaction – at least in part – to sexual behaviour in the Shah’s court. They refer to “a long tradition in nationalist movements of consolidating power through narratives that affirm patriarchy and compulsory heterosexuality, attributing sexual abnormality and immorality to a corrupt ruling elite that is about to be overthrown and/or is complicit with foreign imperialism”….Read More:http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2007/sep/25/nohomosexualityhere————————–
…Everybody’s waiting for the Messiah
The Jews are waiting
The Christians are waiting
Oh so are the Muslims
It’s like everybody’s waiting
They been waiting a long time
I know how I hate to wait
Like even for a bus or something
An important phone call
So I can imagine how darned impatient
Everyone must be getting
So I think it’s time now
Time to reveal myself
I am the Messiah
I am the Messiah
Yes I think you heard me right
I am the Messiah
I was gonna wait till next year
Build up the suspense a little
Make it a really big surprise
But I could not resist
It’s like when you got a really big secret
You’re just bursting to tell someone…( Dan Bern)